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Caucasus Minority Calls Tsarist-Era Wars 'Genocide'


(RFE/RL) 4 November 2005 -- Members of a North Caucasus Cherkess minority group are demanding that the Russian government recognize mass deportations and killings that occurred during tsarist-era wars as genocide.


In a letter sent to President Vladimir Putin, members of the minority said the decades-long wars fought as Russia's tsarist armies conquered the Caucasus destroyed the Cherkess people.


Hundreds of thousands of Cherkess fled the region in the 19th century after Russian imperial armies conquered the Caucasus.


Some 1 million Cherkess live scattered among three North Caucasus republics, along with the Adygei and the Kabardins, ethnic groups that share the same language.


(AP)

RFE/RL Caucasus Report


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